Turkey’s general election on June 7 is shaping up to be the closest in a decade. A few percentage points either way could determine if the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, will secure another majority in parliament or be forced to form a coalition for the first time in its 13 years of rule. The vote will also decide if the mostly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party will be represented in Ankara, which could shape the fate of the government’s peace negotiations with Kurdish rebels and, in the worst case scenario, risk renewed fighting within this key U.S. ally.
President Erdoğan’s quest to transform Turkey and strengthen its presidency also hangs in the balance. Finally, after years of increasing international concern about Turkey’s domestic political freedoms, and with the United States relying on Turkey in the effort to stabilize Iraq and Syria and combat the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the outcome and conduct of the election is likely to heavily influence U.S. policy towards the region and determine the mid-term course of Turkish democracy.
Once the dust has settled, please join the Center for American Progress and a distinguished panel of experts on June 9, 2015 to analyze the results and discuss the new landscape of Turkish politics and U.S.-Turkey relations.
Michael Werz, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Soner Cagaptay, Director, Turkish Research Program, The Washington Institute for Near East Peace
Alan Makovsky, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Nora Fisher Onar, Transatlantic Academy Fellow, German Marshall Fund; Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford
Suat Kınıklıoğlu, Mercator Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Gönül Tol, Founding Director, Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies